Cats are predators, but some of them like fruits and berries. For example, what about a watermelon? Can cats eat watermelon? Should you give them a bite of this fruit? The answer is yes! The watermelon is not dangerous for the cat. You do not need to make a vegetarian out of your pet, but diversifying the diet with such an unusual fruit snack occasionally is totally acceptable.
Can Cats Have Watermelon?
Cats (unlike humans and dogs) are 100% predators, carnivores, they need meat. Their entire digestive department, including teeth, is configured to process and assimilate meat production.
Cats occasionally eat grass for recreational purposes, mainly to cleanse the stomach (it went in and out without being digested). Plant foods can also enter the cat’s stomach from the digestive tract of the prey it eats, such as rodents. But there, as a rule, it is already partially processed, toxic substances are destroyed and do not present a problem.
Thus, the cat’s body is not sharpened for the disintegration of plant fiber and the neutralization of plant toxins. Therefore, many substances contained in herbs, vegetables, berries and fruits that do not pose a threat to other animals can poison your cat.
So, What is a Watermelon?
Watermelon is a sweet gourd of the pumpkin family. It has very high water content and vitamins, there is even protein, and the best part is there are no fats and cholesterol in it. Watermelon pulp contains up to 13% of digestible sugars, mainly glucose and fructose. Watermelon has several body-strengthening properties too, including normalizing metabolic processes.
But, on the other hand, some watermelon plants can accumulate a high concentration of nitrates in their fruits (due to the mistake of watermelon growers), which makes them sometimes dangerous for people. Such fruits can cause food poisoning, which leads to vomiting, and diarrhea. This article on Bright Side will educate you on how not to buy such watermelons.
1. Helps Maintain Water Balance
Cats are usually not big fans of sweets. Watermelon attracts them not with taste, but with high water content. Often, pets ignore bowls with liquid, but they will not refuse to enjoy the fruit.
2. Contains Fiber
Fiber is an important part of a cat’s diet for proper digestion. If your pet has constipation, you can offer him a watermelon. As a rule, after this, digestion is established. However, if the problem occurs systematically, you must always consult a vet.
3. A Source of Vitamins
Watermelon can provide Vitamin A & C. Besides, the fruit contains magnesium and potassium, which every cat needs. Watermelon is good for the heart and bones due to the presence of carotenoid lycopene, a substance found in red fruits and vegetables. Lycopene is a strong antioxidant that prevents, among other things, the development of cancer.
Is Watermelon Safe for Cats?
Unfortunately, there are compounds in the seeds (e.g. cyanide) that are toxic to cats. If the animal nevertheless eats several seeds, this usually leads to diarrhea and vomiting. Because cats are small, the effects of toxic substances on their bodies are much more intense. Also, the seeds are not digested so they provide no benefit. Finally, the cat may just choke while trying to chew on watermelon seeds. It’s best to give them seedless watermelon slices.
2. The Rind
It is indigestible for cats, although its occasional consumption in food is not too dangerous. It is better to remove the peel in advance if you see your feline is going to try it.
3. The Risk of Developing Diabetes
Like other fruits, watermelon is not intended for daily consumption, especially when it comes to cats. Over time, eating sweet fruit frequently can cause diabetes. Never feed a watermelon to a diabetic cat.
How Often You Can Give Watermelon to Your Cat?
Although watermelon is safe for cats, this does not mean that it should be included in their usual diet. Give it only in small quantities as a snack, when you’re watching. The fruit should be, rather, a random treat in your kitty’s “menu”, rather than something regular.
Watermelons should not make up more than 10% of a cat’s diet. The remaining 90% is high-quality feed or balanced natural nutrition.